[FIX/WORK-AROUND] Ubuntu, Rudder Pedals, and Oolite

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Ganelon
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[FIX/WORK-AROUND] Ubuntu, Rudder Pedals, and Oolite

Post by Ganelon »

So I was wandering through a second-hand shop on an odd little world called "Dirt" or something like that.. And I caught sight of a fairly large box with a logo that was the word ELITE framed in a set of wings. Of course that got my attention. Turned out to not be some release of the game Elite, but a set of Thrustmaster Elite Rudder Pedals. It is from the ancient days of DOS, before USB gear, but I just happen to have a functional gameport on my desktop machine, since I use some other old gear. And hey.. 5$? Of course I bought it.

It took a little bit of tinkering to find a joystick it would work with (it has one of those piggyback type connectors for hooking more than one controller into a gameport) and then getting Ubuntu Natty to recognise it. Then I had to work up a calibration for the pedals and the joystick I had that they work with. But we managed that.

Now for the question. Is there anything unusual about how Oolite sees a 4 axis joystick (which is what the combination of the pedals and the joystick/throttle are seen as by Ubuntu)? I tested it in Flightgear, which is sometimes a bit touchy about joysticks, and it worked fine, but Oolite doesn't seem to want to set for the yaw or throttle as joystick axes. Axis 1 & 2 as roll and pitch set and work fine. When I select the yaw and throttle, though, and move those through their range, nothing happens.

Any ideas, or has anyone run into similar problems?
Last edited by Ganelon on Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Diziet Sma
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Re: Ubuntu, Rudder Pedals, and Oolite

Post by Diziet Sma »

Since you have it working, I presume you already have [color=#00BF00]inputattach[/color] installed.. what about [color=#00BF00]joystick[/color]? It's a set of command-line tools for testing & calibrating 'sticks.. might provide you with some useful info/clues. Oh yeah, and [color=#00BF00]evtest[/color] is handy, as well.
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

Ganelon
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Re: [FIX/WORK-AROUND] Ubuntu, Rudder Pedals, and Oolite

Post by Ganelon »

evtest seems to be for things like drawing tablets. joystick was useful, since I needed to add some calibration.

I've got it working! :D

More of a workaround than a fix, but it did the trick. I hooked up a joystick that has always worked well with Oolite to set the functions, then just switched back to the new setup with an older simpler 3 axis joystick (roll, pitch, throttle, and 2 "trigger" buttons) and the rudder pedals.

I think what may have been happening is that Oolite perhaps looks for a certain amount of excursion in the values when setting joystick functions and the older gear just didn't quite reach far enough. It works fine in flight though.

I will kinda miss my "top hat" switch for changing views, but I figure I can set up my Belkin Nostromo to take care of that. On the other hand, the joystick I am using with this set-up is a vintage "Wing Commander" stick, and that has a bit of "cool factor" all it's own.

Now if I can figure out the keybinds for my overhead control panel again, I'll be all set. LOL I have some ideas for remaking that anyway, with maybe a small mp4 player in place of where I used to have a mock display that was just a printed diagram of a Cobra MKIII.

But Oolite with rudder pedals is pretty darned nifty. If you like aircraft style controls on your spaceships, it is definitely worth the bother. If you don't, well then, you won't miss much. Personally, I tend to like such things.
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Diziet Sma
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Re: [FIX/WORK-AROUND] Ubuntu, Rudder Pedals, and Oolite

Post by Diziet Sma »

Congratulations on getting it going!

Stick & rudder control of a Cobby.. yep, some serious coolness factor there! 8)

And personally, I think that rates well on the "natural" control factor, too. You should be able to dogfight like all getout with that setup.

Overhead control panel? Keybinds for same? This all sounds very tasty.. photos, please!
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

Ganelon
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Re: [FIX/WORK-AROUND] Ubuntu, Rudder Pedals, and Oolite

Post by Ganelon »

Image

It isn't anything all that fancy. A very cheap way of making on overhead panel copied from the way some flight simmers do it. It's a cheap USB keyboard, turned upside down (so the layout doesn't seem so much like a regular keyboard) and then relabelled with buttons done by printing them out and gluing them over the regular keys. It mounts with velcro on a slanted bit of board attached to my computer desk, up over the monitor. By redefining what key does what, one can get what I felt was a more logical layout for a control panel of this sort. For a $10 USD sort of "accessory" for Oolite, it was ok.

But if you look at what some of the flight sim folks do with a few controllers, a screen or two, a couple keyboards, some styrofoam, plastic plumbing, glue and paint, it isn't hard to imagine what playing Oolite could be like with such a setup.

I only took it this far as a sort of "proof of concept" originally, and never finished it out as much as I would have liked because.. Well, it worked.. So I just hit for space with it and didn't really get around to taking it further.

The picture on it labelled "SYSTEMS OVERVIEW" was supposed to look sort of like a "Multi-Function Display". But since this little project a while ago, I've gotten a pocket sized mp4 player with about a 7.5 cm (diagonal) screen. I'm thinking that with a little creative plastic work, I could make a bezel with a slot for it to fit in and then do some video mockups of assorted displays with some motion and sound. Still just eye-candy, but cooler eye candy. LOL Since the mp4 player is touch-screen, it wouldn't need any actual functionality with buttons around it anyway.

PS: Oh, and the rudder pedals work pretty well. It will take a bit of getting used to, since the Wing Commander joystick takes a bit lighter touch than the old Sidewinder I used to use. But it worked well enough to manage manual docking comfortably enough and that a group of 3 bandits weren't much of a problem. Since I'm starting over from scratch, my current Cobby is a long way from Iron-arsed, but she did alright for herself. :wink:
Sleep? Who needs sleep? Got game. No need sleep.

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